July 18, 2012
MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE
Henry shows why he's, well, Henry, with an unforgettable goal in Red Bulls' win
By Michael Lewis
|Thierry Henry scored the game-winner in the 71st minute.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- Thierry Henry is the type of player who can score goals that will make the opposing coach sing his praises, even in defeat.
After the Red Bulls captain enlivened an otherwise dull, dreary match played in smothering, 100-degree temperature at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday afternoon, Chicago Fire coach Frank Klopas marveled about the 71st-minute strike.
"Sometimes there are goals you have to clap and move on," Klopas said after the Red Bulls' 1-0 win. "What are you gong to do? They played a great ball and the guy showed his class. That's why he played at Barcelona and Arsenal and those teams. It's too bad it's against us, but I'm sure a lot of fans enjoyed that."
The RBA crowd, announced at 15,814, certainly did, as did Henry and his teammates.
Take your pick of the right adjective(s):
A "moment of brilliance," midfielder Dax McCarty said.
"An absolutely phenomenal goal," coach Hans Backe said.
A "great goal," said forward Sebastian Le Toux, who created it.
"Thierry scores the goal of the year," goalkeeper Bill Gaudette said.
Finding some room on the right flank, Le Toux sent a cross to Henry, who trapped the ball and beat defenders Dan Gargan and Jalil Aribaba. He then ripped a left-footed shot that bounded off the right post and into the net past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
"I made a move. I found the ball, a great pass. Striker's instincts," Henry said. "I went for goal and the ball went into the back of the net. I tried in the first half on my right and I disturbed a fan over there. I put the ball into the stands. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. but I am never scared to try anything. That's me."
Most mortals would have had problems putting the ball on goal, let alone inside of it. But Henry isn't most soccer mortals.
"Normally when you have that angle and you use your left foot with that kind of volume, you think this is over the bar," Backe said. "It's an absolutely phenonmenal strike and probably one of the few guys that can do those kind of goals."
It turned out to be Henry's 10th goal of the season and his first since April 28, a 1-0 home win over the New England Revolution. He injured his right hamstring in that game and has been in and out of the lineup since.
"I needed to do something," he said. "I was pretty useless recently not delivering because of injuries. I had to do something today."
After enduring 90 hot minutes in Sunday's 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders, Henry felt he had to play on Wednesday because he needed the work after missing so many games in May and JUne.
"The boss asked me if I wanted to play today and I said yes, regardless of the heat," he said. "It's not an easy one. I'm in a situation that I need minutes. I have to get back into my rhythm now and play. I was a bit better today going behind the defense on the goal. I made some runs. Sunday, I just couldn't move. But I am getting better. But to get better you need minutes. But you don't want to burn yourself out there. You got to try to do the job when you have to do the job. Today, fortunately for I was the guy. The other day it was Seb."
Henry? He didn't think that he needed to carry the team on his shoulders.
"When you play as a striker I always feel like after a game when we didn't win and I didn't have an assist or a goal, I didn't help," he said.
On Wednesday, Henry gave the Red Bulls plenty of help.